The Twenty-Ninth Roving Ranger


a warm welcome to this, the twenty-ninth Roving Ranger newsletter.


I would highly suggest to you to look up the International Tolkien Fellowship Facebook group for Tolkien-inspired events the world over.

Essays & Scholarship

I am quite glad to see that in the Wikipedia entry to eminent Tolkien scholar David Bratman now counts as a source.

Professor Robin Reid, an excellent Tolkien scholar, has found a case of plagiarism in Tolkien studies.

John D. Rateliff talks about The Battle of Five Armies boardgame, the game that ‘got TSR in trouble.’

Douglas A. Anderson managed to find another photographer of Tolkien late in life as well as a book note on artist Mary Fairburn.

Franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

One day I might be looking at these 4K editions and I will remember this rant: The No-Good Very Nasty Remastering of The Lord of the Rings.

Whenever somebody argues that something is the weirdest **** ever I usually ask: “Have you seen/ read/ heard enough?” Having said that, the Rankin/Bass offerings are seriously wacky: Let’s Remember the Weirdest Animated Musical Moment Ever: “Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way”.

I mentioned it last week and now it is official: Warner Bros. Games has patented the Nemesis system used in Shadows of Mordor. The implications are far-reaching and a loss to the gaming world.

The Fellowship of the Ring re-release in IMAX brought in the best $ per theater last week.

I am not usually into film trilogies’ collectibles but Heroic Hobbit on First Chibi™ Coin from New Zealand Mint might win the hearts of quite a few people.

Other stuff

In case you would like your voice as a Tolkien fan be heard: the Tolkien Fandom Oral History Collection is there for you. I was part of the first Éored as #25.

The German-speaking encyclopedia on all things Tolkien, the Ardapedia, has moved from the excellent people at, the largest ever film trilogies’ website for the German-speaking world, to the German Tolkien Society: Yes, it’s all German to me! 😄

I have always had an interest in merchandise oddities so here you go: Set Phasers for Strange: 9 of the Most Unexpected Star Trek Collectables.

George R.R. Martin’s blog is always an interesting read. His latest entry, reflecting on 2020, does not hold back:

“I will make no predictions on when I will finish.   Every time I do, assholes on the internet take that as a “promise,” and then wait eagerly to crucify me when I miss the deadline.   All I will say is that I am hopeful.”

The Book View Café always has interesting material to offer, in this case entertainingly titled: The Language of Fans (the folding kind). Nota bene: Ursula K. Le Guin. and Vonda N. McIntyre were among its founding members.

Signum University is trying to get the right to grant Tolkien degrees via the state of New Hampshire – again.

In other news

The Mandalorian seems to be spectacularly popular with many Star Wars fans – and the series has just been nominated for a Golden Globe.

An obituary on Christopher Plummer with File770.

The One Ring roleplaying game is getting a second edition and it will be done with a Kickstarter beginning on Feb 11, 2021.

The Blog Roll

These are blogs you really should be following if you’re interested in Tolkien …

Some of these, you may find, are not as active as one would hope; but even if they have not posted anything new for a long time they are repositories of great essays and research on all things Tolkienian and always worth your time. The blog roll – and this very newsletter! – has been inspired by Troels Forchammer’s Parma-kenta and his excellent Tolkien Transactions he did for seven years – they are still sorely missed!

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough
Dimitra Fimi, ‘Dr. Dimitra Fimi
Jason Fisher, ‘Lingwë — Musings of a Fish
Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Tolkien and Fantasy’
John D. Rateliff — ‘Sacnoth’s Scriptorium
John Garth, ‘John Garth
David Bratman, ‘Kalimac’s Journal
Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny’s Sketchbook
Andrew Higgens, ‘Wotan’s Musings
Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Robin Anne Reid, her blog
Annalisa Palmer, her blog
Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Southfarthing Mathom
Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien’s The Notion Club Papers
Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski, ‘Tolknięty
Stephen C. Winter, ‘Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings
Troels Forchhammer, ‘Parma-kenta
Marcel Aubron-Bülles, ‘The Tolkienist
Jeremy Edmonds, ‘Tolkien Collector’s Guide
Aubrey, ‘Diverse Tolkien
Elyanna, ‘itariilles

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Marcel R. Bülles

Marcel R. Bülles is the author of, a specialist blog centering on worldwide Tolkien fandom, geekdom and research. He works as a freelance translator, journalist and writer and is the founder of the German Tolkien Society as well as a co-founder to RingCon, Europe's formerly biggest fantasy film convention. You can find him in cafés all over the world sipping an espresso blogging, writing, reading. At one point he was married to an extremely lovely French lady by the nickname of Sauron. Yes, that Sauron. He is also active with the International Tolkien Fellowship on Facebook and the Tolkien Folk on Instagram.